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‘Will Use TikTok for Desh Bhakti if I Win’: BJP’s Star Candidate Sonali Phogat Reveals Why She Got Party Ticket

Sonali Phogat said she would to use the TikTok platform to make desh bhakti videos and highlight the developmental work in her constituency.

Eram Agha | News18.comEramAgha

Updated:October 4, 2019, 1:37 PM IST
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‘Will Use TikTok for Desh Bhakti if I Win’: BJP’s Star Candidate Sonali Phogat Reveals Why She Got Party Ticket
File photo of Sonali Phogat.

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has given ticket to TikTok sensation and TV actress Sonali Phogat for the Jat-dominated Adampur seat in Haryana. Phogat, who has so far used the app only to upload entertainment videos, told News18 in an interview that if elected, she would to use the platform to make desh bhakti videos and highlight the developmental work in her constituency. Edited excerpts:

Your TikTok videos made headlines almost immediately after you got the BJP ticket on Thursday. How do you see technology as a tool of women empowerment and sending across political messages?

I have not got the BJP ticket because of my TikTok stint. I have been a devoted BJP worker for the past 12 years. I have worked in Madhya Pradesh's tribal Morcha and brought them closer to the party. It was the most interesting experience of my life. I am also an artist who has worked in serials and movies so I used TikTok in that capacity. But once I get the seat I will use the app to spread awareness about the work I do as an MLA, upload videos on girls safety and also on patriotism to instill desh bhakti in the young generation.

What is your vision for your constituency?

This Vidhan Sabha seat has been governed by one family for the past 50 years. The political responsibilities have assumed the face of virasat (legacy) which has been passed on from one generation to another. Congress candidate Kuldeep Bishnoi is a businessman and far removed from the ground realities. People voted for him only to repay the debt of their forefathers. That’s how the votes are cast in Haryana's Adampur. As an MLA, Bishnoi did nothing and his money would lapse. He delivered a poor performance but still won. In Adampur, it is all about preserving the political legacy. I am an artist, yes, but as a BJP worker I have devoted a lot of time to the development of the constituency.

Have you observed any change in the political fabric of Haryana, which is known for clans and dynasty politics?

Yes, things are changing now and it is all because Prime Minister Narendra Modi has shown the way. We are witnessing infighting among Congress leaders in Haryana, and to put it in Sonia Gandhi's words, 'My people are fighting among themselves, let them do that first. Haryana can be contested later.' This is the problem when dynasties are encouraged. They make only one person run the show. There are so many leaders in Haryana -- Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Kiran Choudhry, Ashok Tanwar, Kumari Selja and Randeep Singh Surjewala. They are all on their own trip. On the other hand, in BJP, even if someone aspiring for the ticket doesn’t get a ticket he would continue to work for the party. There would be disenchantment but it does not result in this kind of infighting. Congress thinks differently ... they don't work together and all important leaders end up fighting among themselves.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar is open to the idea of NRC in the state. What are your views?

Please elaborate.

The NRC is National Register of Citizens and it is being implemented in Assam to identify the illegal residents. They face the threat of losing citizenship of the Indian state.

I would like to speak only about the country and not about the state. However, infiltrators should go.

Who are the women leaders you admire?

Sumitra Mahajan is my ideal. I have also looked up to late BJP veteran Sushma Swaraj. The BJP has given women like Nirmala Sitharaman and Smriti Irani key political portfolios.

The families of Rakbar Khan and Pehlu Khan, victims of mob lynching, live in Haryana. Do you have any plans for them?

I don’t have any knowledge about them.

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